For most of us, it’s been a long time since our last trip to somewhere warm….or even just somewhere different. Many Canadians are starting to plan trips outside the province and country again, and whether you’re planning to be gone for a week or two, or you’re a ‘Snowbird’ enjoying several months away, it’s always important to ensure your home will be safe and sound in your absence.
Here are a few key things that you need to do to keep your home or condo protected while you’re away, so you can relax and enjoy each and every one of those glorious vacation days.
Crime-proof your home
One thing we know about deterring a would-be thief is that they never want to risk having someone in the house or have someone come home while they are there. That’s why making your home look as lived-in as possible is very important. Don’t panic if you don’t have the latest in-home security surveillance or technology (although they certainly can help), as these tips will get you well on your way to safeguarding your home and belongings:
Make it look lived in:
- Have someone look in on the house a few times each week; they can turn on various lights and bring in the mail. Further, the tire tracks and footprints do wonders for deterring a burglar.
- Arrange for snow removal – not just the driveway, but also steps and entrances.
- Get a timer for your lights – it’s likely only a penny or two per day for LED lights, and so worth it to avoid having your home be in total darkness.
- If you don’t have someone checking on your home, be sure to have your mail and newspapers stopped so they aren’t piling up in your laneway or doorway.
- Put any major valuables such as jewels, computer back-ups, or important papers in a safety deposit box or a locked metal box in your home that can’t be easily removed.
- Double-check all locks on doors and windows as well as the garage and shed. Deadbolt what you can, and use a good old stick in places like sliding doors and main floor windows.
- Have motion-detector lights around your property, especially near dark corners or back doorways.
- Be vigilant when posting on social media. Telling the world that the entire family is away is never good for criminals to see, particularly if you have a public social media account. You can always tighten your online security and invite only friends & family to view your posts.
- Tell your close neighbours you’ll be away and leave them a contact number to reach you or someone else in an emergency.
Guard against the elements
As we know, “Old Man Winter” loves to wreak havoc on our homes here in Canada, and there are several steps to take to winterize our homes. If you’re planning on being away for more than a few weeks this winter, many people are tempted to turn your heat way down. Although it does save on heating bills, it could possibly result in burst water pipes. Turning it down to 55 Fahrenheit (or 13 Celsius) is as low as you should go, according to the experts. Additionally, be sure to fix any drafty windows, seal up any spots where little critters like mice can get in (and heat can get out), and do a walk around the property for any items such as ladders, tools or other objects that can be used to gain entry into the home.
Your well-earned vacation or winter retreat should be stress-free, which is why it’s important to cover your bases to protect your beautiful home.
Buying or selling your home or condo in the Collingwood, Clearview, Blue Mountain, Wasaga Beach, Thornbury or Meaford areas can also be a stress-free process when you work with our knowledgeable REALTORS®. Call on the experts at Clairwood Real Estate at 705-445-7085.